David Benzaquen is 33 years old and lives in New York: “I became vegan my first day of university at the age of 18. I had been vegetarian for 4 years, and after learning about the treatment of chickens in the egg industry and cows in the dairy industry, I realized that I didn’t want to support those industries
He owns PlantBased Solutions, a brand management and marketing agency for plant-based consumer products. “We help these companies with developing their brands, their sales and distribution strategies, and their marketing strategies. We choose to focus exclusively on plant-based products because of our deeply held values that making them successful can have the single greatest impact on animals, human health and the environment.”
They represent vegan brands like Gardein, Daiya, Miyoko’s Kitchen, Treeline Cheese, Ocean Hugger Foods, Green Common, Back to the Roots and Algama.
Why should people become vegan?
There are so many wonderful reasons to go vegan. These including sparing countless animals from immense suffering, reducing our immeasurable impact on the planet and reducing our risk of some of the deadliest human ailments, such as ischemic heart disease, diabetes and certain kinds of cancers. My personal commitment is fueled by the inconsistency between how we treat those animals we love, such as dogs and cats, and those we eat.
That said, whether or not people feel ready to adopt a vegan diet or lifestyle, everyone can make a huge impact with small changes like eating plant-based once or twice a week or switching out certain animal products for delicious animal-free alternatives. Every time we sit down to eat, we have the power to make a difference.”
What is according to you the best way to inspire people to become vegan?
I believe that a combination of tools is needed to move the world towards a more compassionate, healthier and sustainable food system. One part of this is educating people about where our food comes from and encouraging them to be conscious consumers. Another equally important tool is to make and share delicious food.
Most importantly, as ambassadors for this wonderful way of life, it is incumbent upon each of us to represent ourselves with compassion, kindness and humility towards others and to lead by example. We need to emulate that being vegan is something that we love and enjoy, rather than a foundation for an ivory tower.”
Where does your love for animals come from?
As a child, I loved all animals. That said, my connection to this cause also came from a broad dedication to standing up against injustice and realizing that animals are among the most maligned groups.